May 9, 2009 6:55am
Re: FTP read-access is going away
I think the removal of FTP wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't that the HTTP downloads are so malformed - here's an example:http://www.archive.org/details/E3_2006_United_Games
A large, multi-part sequential video film. The problem with the HTTP side is that all the derivatives are on the same lists as the normal, higher quality files (which in this excellent case are higher quality but not that much bigger!). Selecting them one at a time would take a rather long time. This isn't the worst example - I am thinking if it were a set of MP4 files (there are some I have uploaded which are), there would be very similarly named derivatives (with the same filetype) making some download managers still need to you click a hundred times to deselect the ones which have the additional _512kb postfix.
There are also times where multiple copies of a file at different qualities are uploaded, or even sometimes video files (or extra files) the archive doesn't recognise and show on the front page of items - which are only visible in the "All HTTP files" option, making it more difficult to get the complete set of files off that main details page (When I did say this to Tracey, it was a whitelist of shown files, which is somewhat annoying - for instance, BIK files - a common videogame original video format, isn't recognised).
So, maybe put up some instructions in the out of date FAQ about this? Suggest using plugins - FlashGet+Download Manager, DownloadThemAll, and show how to select all the correct full files. I actually intend to do some tutorials for uploading at some point, maybe I'll do a few for this too...
I am not wholly against removing a standard such as this, but FTP is also much more reliable then HTTP - if you need to go through the front end (which sometimes crashes/is unavailable), at least don't remove direct links to the folder contents such as this page for that item ("All HTTP files"):http://ia311228.us.archive.org/1/items/E3_2006_United_Games/
(Perhaps improve this to allow each of the columns to be sortable - this would imitate some of the useful FTP things, and make it even easier to download all the right files - ordering by date here means you can have the newer metadata and derivatives at the bottom).
Or, for instance, the file list on the left of video entries has so many derivatives (which are in the main file list which has names anyway) perhaps this column could be just "Original files", since derivatives are already downloadable from the centre column (as for texts, music, software, not sure how these are managed).
Also, since there are FTP uploads (which I never see as going away, web browsers simply can't deal well with uploading files!), I guess read only would always be technically possible. Not a bad thing to remove it, like I said, just simplifying things too much removes some of the useful aspects.
Maybe I should go make a FF plugin which can interface with some download manager, so you can input a identifier and it'll go and find the original files from that entry to download...hehe, if only I had the time.
Hope this feedback is useful, email me if I can help in any way :) I do see FTP downloads still as useful, as others have pointed out, then some other methods - but this is obvious, it is not HTTP so will be different in some ways.